Jeffreys, E "Review of Jeffreys, E "China, Sex and Prostitution" 2004

RoutledgeCurzon Studies on China in Transition
RoutledgeCurzon, Taylor and Francis Group, USA and Canada, 2004

Jeffreys presents a laborious critique of the sex industry, gender and policing in the PRC today as viewed through the lens of China studies academia. Her argument focuses on critiquing China Studies from both a western and mainland academic viewpoint, and in particular she castigates the work of western feminists who suggest the PRC should recognise sex work. While offering a new reading of contemporary China studies contribution to the field, these writers are accused of imposing a ‘western’ view (13), ‘abdicating the (PRC) government responsibility to provide employment’ (94), and Non-Government Organisations who do the same are described as ‘dispassionate’ (93). The progression of her argument lets her down, and by the end of chapter 5 the reader is left wondering how she drew the conclusion that sex work, as a category of employment, cannot be implemented in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The moral overtones of the book are codified and may elude the reader during the first reading, but her conclusions leaves no doubt that she believes it is morally wrong to support sex work as a category of employment, not just in PRC but anywhere.